The Hog's Apothecary Brings a Serious Beer List and All Things Porcine to Oakland

Categories: Oakland, Opening

Pete Kane
A close reading of The Hog's Apothecary's name tells you a lot about it. The "hog" part suggests medieval meats for hearty appetites, while "apothecary" implies a fussiness over pork's versatility and alcohol's alchemical powers. The beer hall's pen-and-ink logo of a hog is similarly artsy-manly.

See also: Mikkeller Bar: Superb Beers and Tiny Hot Dogs in the Tenderloin

Pete Kane
To wit, you can order meat-and-sauce pairings from the "Butcher's Coffer" (think rabbit liver mousse with fig mostarda), a side of turnips in pig juice, or something called a "propagator's pie" (surprise, it's vegetarian, although the chips that accompany the sandwiches are fried in lard). But it's the wall of 32 beers -- and four wines -- on tap, every single one of them Californian, that will likely draw folks to this clean and glassy pigsty near MacArthur BART.

Some beers (Death and Taxes) are more familiar than others (HenHouse Saison) but this is a list carefully curated for true connoisseurs, who are clearly flocking to this corner of Oakland. After a soft opening last week, the Hog's Apothecary is open hard. (While walk-ins are welcome, there was a "wait to wait" at the bar during happy hour on Friday.)

Then there's Theo, the seven-foot sculpture of a dancing pig who looks like he's about to embrace the kitchen staff. As his renown grows, a rival gastropub will probably steal him and give him a Twitter account.

The Hog's Apothecary, 375 40th St., Oakland, (510) 338-3847.

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Staff are rude and food is bland and overpriced. Skip it and head up the hill to Cato's Ale House if you want good food, comparable beer and 1% the pretension.

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